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India through to Final of Asia Cup 2023 after beating Sri Lanka by 41-runs

India’s formidable bowling attack combined their skills to halt Sri Lanka’s 13-match unbeaten streak in ODIs, clinching their spot in the Asia Cup 2023 final with a game to spare. The hosts were bundled out for 172 while chasing a modest target at the R Premadasa Stadium on Tuesday, marking a 41-run victory for India.

In a game where spinners from both sides dominated proceedings, India’s pace bowlers also played a crucial role in securing victory over their co-hosts. The match’s outcome was a testament to India’s balanced bowling unit.

The second innings began with Jasprit Bumrah wreaking havoc on Sri Lanka’s top order. Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis fell during the powerplay, scoring just 6 and 15 runs respectively. As wickets continued to tumble, Dimuth Karunaratne could only watch from the other end as India’s bowlers maintained their pressure. Mohammad Siraj joined the act, and India ended the powerplay overs with a commanding position.

Karunaratne’s patience wore thin, attempting a boundary but only managing to loop a catch into Shubman Gill’s hands off Bumrah’s delivery. The introduction of Kuldeep Yadav into the attack was impactful, as Sadeera Samarawickrama fell to the experienced spinner after contributing 17 runs. Ravindra Jadeja then joined the wicket-taking party, working in tandem with Kuldeep to dismantle Sri Lanka’s middle order.

Dhananjaya de Silva and Dunith Wellalage put up a valiant effort to revive Sri Lanka’s innings. It seemed for a moment that they might guide the co-hosts to victory. However, Jadeja returned to haunt Sri Lanka by dismissing Silva. Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav then chipped in to dismiss the remaining batsmen, securing India’s place in the final while leaving Wellalage unbeaten on 42.

Earlier in the game, Sri Lanka’s Dunith Wellalage and Charith Asalanka had posed a significant challenge to India’s top-order batsmen, helping Sri Lanka bowl out the Men in Blue for 213 in their Asia Cup 2023 Super Four clash at the same venue. Wellalage achieved a remarkable milestone by securing his maiden five-wicket haul, dismantling India’s batting lineup and dismissing top-order batsmen like Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, and Hardik Pandya.

Asalanka played his part, finishing with figures of 4/18, while Dhananjaya De Silva kept a tight grip on proceedings from one end, allowing the other bowlers to make crucial breakthroughs.

Captain Rohit Sharma’s fifty had provided some stability for India before Mohammed Siraj and Axar Patel displayed resilience against the Sri Lankan spinners. Their partnership of 27 runs for the last wicket took India to a competitive total. Despite a brief rain interruption, Sri Lanka managed to keep India in check, but the late surge from Siraj and Patel added valuable runs to the scoreboard.

Brief Score

  • India 213 (Rohit Sharma 53, KL Rahul 39; Dunith Wellalage 5-40)
  • Sri Lanka 172 (Dunith Wellalage 42*, Dhananjaya de Silva 41; Kuldeep Yadav 4-43).

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